Showing posts from November, 2008

Hungry, Huddled Hordes Of Homeless

I recently exchanged e-mails with DC Government concerning the fact that the homeless are going hungry while remaining in the hypothermia shelter all day during hypothermia. It didn't go well. Long story short, the homeless will be fed additional meals if they remain in the shelter all day due to there being snow or ice on the ground. If they remain in the shelter all day due to it being 20 degrees outside, they will only receive the usual dinner, no lunch or breakfast. Read our exchange below and my further explanation that follows:

From: Eric Sheptock [mailto: ]
Sent: Monday, November 24, 2008 4:01 PM
Subject: No Food For The Homeless During Hypothermia!!!!!


I personally have yet to stay at 801 East throughout the day when it is hypothermic. However, more than one man has told me that food was not provided by DHS/Catholic Charities during hypothermia. It is my understanding that, a couple of days ago, the men didn&…

Is there Life After Franklin?

Franklin Shelter's doors were closed by Mayor adrian fenty on September 26th, 2008. The former residents were scattered throughout DC. Many have suffered great losses and inconveniences as a result of the closure. A few have even put up a fight so as to try to be compensated for their losses and to re-open Franklin Shelter. All of this begs the question,"What now, is there life after Franklin?"

I must say that there is indeed life after Franklin and there's probably more life than the mayor thought there would be. Let's bear in mind that the homeless often feel disenfranchised and marginalized. They, for the most part, don't stand up for themselves. When mis-treated, they often take it lying down. I'm inclined to believe that the mayor thought that would continue to be the case. Boy was he wrong!!!!!

Prior to the closing of Franklin Shelter, it was difficult to get even 5 homeless people to go to a meeting or hearing that was arranged for them. W…

The Economy and Housing First

First of all, I would like to clarify my position on the Housing First program known as Permanent Supportive Housing. (For those who are just coming on board with the homeless/housing issue, "Housing First" doesn't refer to an actual program, but rather a philosophy and a way in which some Permanent Supportive Housing programs are run. It is the practice whereby people are housed first and their issues are dealt with later. Those issues can range from mental illness to drug addiction to a need for job training.)

I am not against the PSH program at all. However, I believe that DC government's plan is seriously flawed. There have been numerous reports of people who are still addicted receiving housing only to sell their furniture, appliances and housing vouchers. There have also been reports of inadequate casework. To make matters worse, the mayor is withholding information from the Council so that they can't properly evaluate the program. For all of its faults, I s…

Housing First Won't Last

I've posted an urgent message from a non-profit that assists the homeless population (Pathways To Housing). I don't normally post on consecutive days. However, this matter is of such grave concern that I saw fit to post it immediately.

Mayor Fenty had more faith than he should've in the Housing First Program known as Permanent Supportive Housing than he should've. He used its creation to justify closing Franklin Shelter. Now, just 6 weeks after closing Franklin, the housing program is in peril.

Many homeless advocates tried to warn the mayor and his administration. We told him and his administration that they were moving way too quickly. They wouldn't heed our warnings. Now the "Housing First" program is fast becoming the "Housing Worst" program. It is about to become the Fenty administration's biggest embarrassment. (I'm helping to make that true.)

I'm not certain whether or not the program can be saved at this point. …

The First Thing that needs changin'

Below is a slightly modified message that I sent to a friend and sweetheart of mine who works for the U.S. Dept. of Labor. I figured that since parts of my message apply to the fight against poverty, homelessness and corporate greed, I would send this modified message to others. I therefore modified the message, removing the parts that only pertained to her and forwarded it to others. Below my message is her response. She has stated some very interesting and intelligent insights into "The First Thing That Needs Changin'"


From: Eric Sheptock
Date: Thursday, November 6, 2008, 3:38 PM

Many of the homeless have asked me to help them to get jobs. They don't just want a hand-out. They also want a hand up. As it turns out, DC has a terrible workforce development dilemma. There is supposedly a large job market in the city. However, most jobs require a high level of skill. There are not enough people in the city with those skills. Therefore, employers look els…

Unsafe permanent Supportive Housing Units

Below are a couple of e-mail messages that I sent about a man that was feared dead shortly after receiving Permanent Supportive Housing. HE TURNED OUT TO HAVE SURVIVED A BRUTAL ATTACK AND REMAINS IN THE HOSPITAL. However, if something isn't done quickly, the next person might not be so lucky.

Read them and weep..........


In the few minutes that I have I wanted to let you know that I received credible info from Pat Handy, the DHS Homeless Services Coordinator, that Tommy Overton was indeed badly beaten but is very much alive. He is in the hospital. DC Gov., take this as a warning. it could've been much worse. I will send a more detailed message later letting all who I told about Tommy Overton that he is still alive. Bear in mind that I received this news around 6:30 PM yesterday. It doesn't mean yet that he couldn't've taken a turn for the worse or that he won't die; but, as far as I know, he's alive.


Severe Beating At A Permanent Supportive Housing Unit

The following is a message that I received from a formerly homeless man about a comrade who might've been murdered shortly after moving into a Permanent supportive Housing unit. (I've done some slight editing.) The PSH program is the program that Mayor Fenty used to justify closing Franklin Shelter. Many people who've been offered housing through this program have turned it down due to, among other reasons, being placed in unsafe, drug-ridden neighborhoods. Now we have a possible murder of a formerly homeless man. As if murder isn't appalling enough in and of itself, this man lived more than 10 years on the street and less than 1 week in his apartment after being. It seems to be safer to live on the streets than in an apartment. That's sad.

Mr. Barry, Ms. Alexander,

Good Morning. I am e-mailing you both this morning in the fear that a man that I was homeless in the streets of downtown D.C. with (who himself had been homeless for about 10-15 years) was b…